UPDATE: Citizens hire attorney to dispute Thomas Street soil res - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Citizens hire attorney to dispute Thomas Street soil results

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -

UPDATE: Thursday night a dozen residents attended a city meeting where results of the recent soil test of Thomas Street were discussed.
    
Residents asked why only certain sections of the soil samples were looked at for harmful chemicals.
    
Officials say that the tests were conducted with standards set by the state: multiple samples were extracted and immediately stored for lab testing.

"We did the original phase one research years ago, which basically is a database research. Checking all the records in the area," said Ben Barz of AECOM, the company contracted to conduct the soil tests in Wausau. "And the phase two is where we're at right now with the testing that we did to test various locations of potential concern. And we followed the D.O.T. standards, and that's how we went about that testing."

City officials say that the concerns will be reviewed.

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An attorney representing citizens living near a planned construction project in Wausau claims adequate testing was not conducted by the city in regards to concerns over contaminated soil, according to a letter sent to city leaders Wednesday.

In September, testing showed there were not excessive amounts of the chemical pentachlorophenol, or penta, in the soil surrounding Thomas Street. But attorney Ted Warpinski alleges the surface soil was never tested. 

Contractors drilled 12 feet deep to test samples in the 1-3 foot range and the 9-12 foot range. 

"It would appear that the tests proposed and performed by AECOM were never likely to reveal any contaminants of concern in the area where direct contact risk exist because the testing was targeting the subsurface," Warpinski wrote in the letter.

Warpinski said he represents Citizens for an Environmentally Safe Thomas Street Neighborhood. 

The Capital Improvements and Street Maintenance Committee is set to discuss the testing results at a meeting Thursday night. 

The group is considering testing the surface soil on its own, according to the letter, but would need city approval to test on city land. 

"Our clients do request that the city table any further action on this matter until proper independent testing is conducted," Warpinski added.

The initial tests cost about $24,000.

The first phase of the Thomas Street project is expected to be completed next month.

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